“Poetry should surprise by a fine excess and not by singularity—it should strike the reader as a wording of his own highest thoughts, and appear almost a remembrance.”
— John Keats, from On Axioms and the Surprise of Poet
The voice of a poet entails the beams known even to the blind to be the sun's, the anthill to be the empire of ants, the trumpet from the elephants trunk, the humming from the humming bird, the peal from a jingled bell and so forth which are hardly a thing to be discerned from a distance. It is the uniqueness not caged by timidity and impression. It is the soul of our legacies on this side of life. It is what has escaped the subtle filtration of books as good as they are and that of society. It is the very thing we are recognized by aside our names and deeds. Naming is not the thorough distinguishing mechanism to identify a good writer on the cover of his book but his voice. It is the perfume that never for change and the length of time fade from his craft. It bears its own fashion and is not ashamed of letting all see. Never a good man outshines others as the one with his light earned from chastisement of self-creation.
It is of a noble standing that influence through mentorship is a power that inevitably takes ground within us but cautious must we be that do corrupt that voice. The poet must not knit on his mantle after the embroidery of another because he is the idol of the age. He may be poor to live on little as pertains what makes a bright poet but never on the proceeds of a borrowed muse. As in the picture of ancient times in the king's court where the fool, priest or sorcerer, wisemen, thinkers, et cetera attends him knowing their place must be the poet. Some sadly are products of imitation than possessing quality minds. They are creations of who they idolize and merely go as far as the full stop as in the gathered manuscripts at their demise.
Let truth be told, it is unconsciously a thing with us to want to snub the appeals of a thorn-infested land bidding on us to set our trails. We are very much seen in the costume of the brave-hearted within lines of our poems here and there but never by careful examination is it a reality. We desire vacant thrones left by our forebears and whatever, as in a wedding with ladies trying to catch the bouquet of flower flung randomly by the bride. We want to become those we look up to. We care less about owning our voice as is needful for what true art cries out for, which is one borne with scars of rejection and public indifference. We do not see insightfully what piece of scroll was locked within our grasp as babies. We are not so much proud to dance to the pipe of our inward man always imploring. We are 'careful' not to be looked upon as rebels against the tides of an age where millions are willing to pay anything to put on masks with the autograph of others than themselves. We excuse ourselves the creative thoughts that frequent our minds. Perhaps this anomaly can be traced to not seeing as we should a reality before us or we have it sentenced with, 'too good to be true' or a resounding 'I'm not good enough' inspired more often than not from fear, self-criticism and comparison of who and who we deem better for the task.
The greatest if ever is a befitting word in the literary circle who attained unspeakable recognition whether dead or alive were met with doors whose gate pass were questions. Self-realization never comes without giving required answers not as brilliant or as witty one would think but one of sincerity. And how far they went through that door to the boundless realms that doorway unfolded came by the quality of their answers. Questions in sincerity abound among this which could be, what really do I want? Why do I daydream seeing my conquests only with a pen? What is the secret to getting what is set before me? How far do I want to go without getting travel-weary? What exactly is this one thing I have a single eye for? If in a fictive sense a doorkeeper kept the door to this realm our forebears attained, will he sketch our boundary the size of a poetry collection and other books in our names?
With all said as an attempt to stir the mind of contemporary poets are the words of Wallace Stevens from Opus Posthumous, "A poet is the priest of the invisible" is enough to declare our minds restless till we really know, see. The voice of the poet must be heard as purely as was given, for "To be a poet is a condition, not a profession." in the words of Robert Graves in response to a question in Horizons, 1946. The world groans awaiting such ones as we are called out to fly the flags dyed in our own sweat.
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